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Whether you are a fishing enthusiast or just into any other water activities, a great life jacket is a must for you. There are several different cheap life jackets or PFD available in the market with lots of amazing features, but buying life jackets that serves all that your PFD purposes pretty well is quite severe. Therefore, keep on reading to know in details about some of the cheapest PFD’s that offer exceptional performance and incredible buoyancy. Here are some most suggested cheap life jackets.

Pricing Table

The Chinook kayak fishing PFD from NRS is one high-maintenance affordable life jackets that offer top-class performance to its users. This ripstop nylon made PFD features a mesh lower back that ensures serious ventilation during hot weather conditions. At the same time, the sizeable front-entry design that has eight different adjustment points gives you the freedom to customize the jacket’s fit for maximum security and safety. Over and above, the back of this cheap life jacket comes with a strobe holder loop and has a D-ring to attach your net for more convenience. Overall, it is the best fishing life vest.

Also, this PFD life jacket incorporates a coil tool re-tractor that enables you to carry around your forceps, line snips, and other necessary tools that you want to have handy while on a fishing trip.


  • Features a high-back design for better sitting position.
  • This PFD is lightweight and therefore floats seamlessly.
  • Can also be used for fly fishing and other extended tours.


  • It has severe lacking in the drop-down platform department.

Even after keeping the price point of this Men’s Reactor USCG Life Vest very budget-friendly, O’Neill didn’t sacrifice the quality. It is comfortable, flexible and most importantly, this life jacket provides maximum safety to its wearer. This life vest is also the best life jacket for fly fishing most of the expert recommend it for fly fishing. The US coast guard approved this PFD because of its sturdy build quality and outstanding safety measures. Made from 100% neoprene and polyester, this PFD features two Quick Release safety buckles and a heavy-duty front zipper that makes sure that the user enjoys a unique sense of security. Besides, O’Neill offers unrestricted mobility by incorporating segmented PVC Marine foam core in the vest body and featuring anatomical flex points, which also helps the wearer to float without any difficulties.


  • Suitable for Wake Sports, Waterskiing, Tubing, and Swimming
  • The jacket features overlocked stitches to ensure extended durability
  • Comes with expansion panels and Available in a wide variety of colors and sizes 


  • The shoulder pads tend to move causing user discomfort
  • Rarely the packet begins with used jackets

This USCG-approved Type III PFD is considered one of the best kayak fishing life vests by many fishing enthusiasts because of obvious reasons. It incorporates an Exclusive Membrane Inflatable Technology™ inflation cell. It does not only contribute to making this cheap life jacket super lightweight, more flexible and extremely comfortable but at the same time offers automatic inflation which automatically self-right most users within a few seconds of water entry. Besides, Mustang also added a manual inflation cord and an oral inflator tube to this life jacket for extra amenity.

Furthermore, this super comfortable to wear and easy to use Mustang PFD comes with a two-inch sturdy polypropylene waist strap and harness to ensure maximum safety and security of the wearer. That is to say; Mustang is popular as cheap life jackets.


  • Provides up to 26 pounds of buoyancy once fully inflated
  • The 500 Denier Cordura outer shell assures durability and longevity
  •  The CO2 canister has to replace whenever needed


  • Doesn’t come with a D-ring for added benefits
  • Mustang doesn’t offer different sizes for this PFD

The U.S. Coast Guard-approved this Onyx Move Vent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest for its extreme safety measures; Onyx adorned this high-speed life jacket with SOLAS grade reflective material that ensures maximum visibility, even in the dark. Additionally, this Cheap PFD vest comes with a whistle attached to it to provide extra safety to its user. Moreover, the robust and durable zipper closure and side belts can be adjusted to fit you as perfectly as a glove to provide you with more security.

To add more, this flexibly designed high-speed life vest with made from 200 denier nylon ripstop and nylon oxford material with mesh details that provides excellent drainage and ventilation to keep you fresh when the weather gets warm. This item is available as cheap life jackets.


  • The sculpted design helps to keep the vest in place
  • Also, come with neoprene comfort padded shoulder adjustments
  • Suitable for canoe, kayak, SUP and other recreational fishing activities


  • The sizing chart is not 
  • The pockets are not as big as you would expect

NRS PFD is known for their fantastic quality, and top-notch performance and the new Women’s Siren life jacket. NRS is urethane-coated ripstop nylon made life jacket comes with six independent panels with ultra-soft raised foam. Moreover, features Cool Flow System (CFS) to provide not only superior ventilation but also incredible comfort on your fishing trips. These foams also allow the vest to flow with your movement to increase the buoyancy level and floatation rate. Furthermore, the stretchy material and the six adjustments points of this life vest make sure that you have a custom fit all around and can enjoy incredible comfort in the chest area and arm openings. Besides, the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) tested this NRS chinook 2019 PFD before the US Coast Guards provided a Type III certificate to assure maximum safety to its wearer.


  • Comes with a front dual-entry zippered pocket to secure all your essential accessories
  • The wide padded shoulder straps reduce pressure on the body
  • Different sizes and alluring color options to satisfy every potential user


  • Doesn’t feature an open front for easy “getting in”
  • Doesn’t incorporate a D ring for extra amenity

This Mustang Survival Accel fishing life jacket is 100 mph dynamic strength-tested. Its design is loveable and approved to the professional anglers. The quality and performance of this cheap life jacket are top-notch, comfortable and most importantly, safe. This fishing PFD is considered to have the highest speed-rating in the market compared to its market competitors.

Mustang constructed this life jacket using supreme quality nylon material. It incorporated fleece-lined collar and pocket to make sure that the user remains warmer in even the chilliest of weather conditions. This feature makes this PFD the perfect choice for fishing enthusiasts or professional anglers who enjoys fishing in early mornings.

Moreover, the jacket body also includes strategically segmented Air Soft™ foam panels that flex as you move to ensure ease of movement and provide highest safety measures.


  • Approved by USCG-Type III to ensure maximum safety
  • Comes with 500D Cordura outer shell for extended durability
  • Available in a wide array of sizes to fit every potential customer


  • The collar never folds; very uncomfortable
  • Doesn’t come with inside pockets
  • Only available in 2 disappointing color shades

Even though this Stearns Adult Classic Series Vest is US Coast Guard-approved, it is one of the cheapest kayak life jackets available in the market; Stearns constructed this vest with premium quality durable nylon material featuring 3 buckle straps that not only offers safety but at the same time provides a customized fit to the user.  Moreover, this no-frills, side open low-profile PDF allows you to move your arms and upper body freely without any hesitation and comfortableness.

But while keeping the price range low, Stearns had to cut back on the foam and storage space from this cheap life jackets  which results in attaching your whistle and flashlight and other things somewhere else and not on the jacket.


  • Nylon construction ensures breathability
  • Unisex life jacket; suitable for both men and women
  • Floats as smoothly as many of its expensive competitors


  • The outlook is not appealing to many
  • Available only in two bright colors; no black or grey

Stohlquist economically designed this stohlquist fisherman personal floatation device to be one of the cheapest inflatable life jackets available in the market. But affordable price doesn’t always mean inferior, low quality; it is comfortable, safety, and practicality. Stohlquist constructed this PFD using nylon with a sturdy 420 denier shell and a 210-denier oxford liner to ensure high performance and extended durability. Besides, this life jacket features open sides for more comfort and better ventilation. Furthermore, this stohlquist piseas Personal Floatation Device incorporates neoprene padded lower back waistband and 1 ½ inch adjustable webbing shoulder straps for additional comfort and maximum safety.


  • This PFD offers excellent floatation
  • Comes with a D-ring and pockets for carrying useful accessories
  • Stohlquist offers various sizes to accommodate every potential user


  • This life jacket is a bit on the bulkier side
  • Not the best life vest for fly fishing

While this ONYX Kayak Fishing Life Jacket might be one affordable life jacket to buy, but it still manages to be one of the best inflatable cheap life vest for fishing. Because of the performance and safety measures, it offers to its users. This ergonomically designed life vest materials are 400 denier nylon oxford and a mesh back to not only ensure incredible ventilation in the warmer months but at the same time provide superior all-day superior comfort. There are six adjustable straps connection in this life jacket assures that the wearer has a custom fit and makes sure that it hugs your body like a glove for ease of movement. Furthermore, ONYX kayak fishing life jacket added three zipper pockets, 4 Velcro pockets to this neoprene cheap life jacket to provide the users with lots of carrying space. Most importantly, the onyx life vest size chart helps you choose the right one from this model.


  • U.S. Coast Guard Approved Type III Life Jacket
  • Low profile, paddle specific design for better convenience
  • Includes neoprene shoulder pads for extra comfort


  • No color options; available only in khaki color
  • The zippers are quite challenging to get started

 This Stohlquist Fisherman Personal Floatation Device is considered as one of the best kayak fishing life vests. That you will find in the market because of the neat, low profile and durable design that it offers to its users, this features an ergonomic WRAPTURE™ shaped torso covered with a heavy-duty shell and made from 500 deniers Cordura. It has a softer oxford lining for more comfort and plenty of buoyancy at 16 lbs. 4 Oz. Sea level buoyancy and soft floatation foam, it helps you to float with ease and comfort.

To add more, this US Coast Guard Approved Stohlquist PFD features open sides and has five safety straps connection according to your preference for a custom fit and full arm movement without any difficulties. There is also an adjustable cross-chest cinch harness to prevent the vest from riding up your body. This item is one of the best pieces of cheap life jackets. Overall, it is the best fishing life vest over after years.


  • Excellent ventilation for added comfort
  • The two front pockets can be folded down to use as work surfaces
  • Features inside accessory pockets for safe storage of tools and accessories


  • Not the best life vest for fly fishing

Things to keep in mind before buying a cheap life jacket

For both kids and adults, a life jacket is a must-have accessory while enjoying the ocean, river or any water environment because a life jacket ensures maximum safety and helps you to float even when the conditions are adverse.

There are more than a few aspects that you should keep in mind before buying your ultimate personal floatation device or cheap life jackets. Let’s discuss in details about those aspects to gain more knowledge.

The PFD laws

Always check on the latest state laws before buying your ultimate cheap life vest as many states in the US has particular guidelines about water sports and the PFD used, especially when a child is involved.

The type of PFD

There are mainly five types of PFD available in the market to choose from according to your preference, which includes:

  • Type I: Off-shore life jacket is using for an extended period
  •  II: Near-shore buoyancy jacket designed for calm water
  •  III: Specially designed for kayaking and other types of fishing activities
  •  IV: These jackets used as flotation objects like a ring or a cushion
  •  V PFD: Special PFD that consists of all the other four mentioned above.

The Materials Life Jackets

Life jackets made from the two most common materials. They are Nylon and Neoprene.

While nylon is relatively cheap and makes the best lightweight, neoprene material offers more buoyancy and better fit and comfort. Therefore, before buying, make sure which content is going to serve your purpose right.

The right size

A life jacket must suit snugly to the body. That’s why you must be sure about the size before buying your PFD. Life jacket size varies from men to women to children and even your pets. So, first, be sure for whom you are purchasing the vest and then carefully select the size.

Safety measures for PFD

One of the essential aspects that you should keep in mind before buying a PFD is the safety measures that offered; it’s wise to buy a vest that has been approved and certified by the US Coast Guards.

Have you decided to pick a cheap life vest? Don’t be concern about where to buy affordable life jackets. It is available in the nearest market in your home. If you would like to buy from online, then you may check out from amazon.

Few extra features of cheap life vest

Other than the above min features, you should also look for the followings for a more enjoyable and comfortable water experience:

  • Pockets: having more than a few pockets in the vest enables you to carry essential accessories with you.
  • Mesh lining: mesh lining ensures more ventilation and breathability and thus more comfort.
  • Color: Bright colors makes you more visible, even from quite a far distance.
  • Buckle Quantity: the more the zipper, the more customized fit you will enjoy.

Nrs Chinook vs Stohlquist Fisherman

nrs vs stohquist fisherman you should like which one? Which would be better for their life safety? Here is some primary comparison between them. To compare each other features and advantages, you can easily find out what is best fishing PFD vest. Let’s look at the comparison table

Nrs chinook


Chinook has seven small pockets in front of the jackets; you can put various little necessary things.

Stolhquist has two large pockets in front of the pfds. You can store small to medium sizes essential things.

It has a rod holder loops

Stohlquist has not rod holder quality

Lightweight nylon material

Its construction materials are high quality 240 denier ripstop nylon

Enough space

It also has enough space

Nrs chinook is very durable life vests low price.

Stohlquist fisherman high back life jacket pfd

I hope you can correctly understand the comparison of nrs vs stohquist fisherman.

What is the difference between a life jacket and a PFD?

A life jacket and a personal flotation device or a PFD are not the same. Even though in many cases these two have similar features and serves similar purposes, there are more than a few notable differences between these two.

Life jackets design is best to hold up and turn a person face up if they are unconscious in the water. And that’s why they heavily padded with most of the padding being in the front to float a senseless person for an extended period. Moreover, for extra stuffing, life jackets have more buoyancy for added safety. You may use a life jacket as a safe fishing cloth.

Personal flotation devices are not as heavily padded as a life jacket because its design is perfect for keeping a conscious person floating in calm condition; a PFD will keep you afloat, but it won’t flip you from a face-down position. Because of less padding and back floatation mechanism, PFD offers less buoyancy to its wearer.

Do life Cheap life jackets expire?

All kinds of things do have an expiry date but not your life jacket; the exact expiration date is not stamped on the label of a life vest because a PFD lasts as long as its outer shell is intact. The foam inserts remain intact because they cannot directly expose to water, and wear and tear.

Over time and regular use, the outer material faces damage and can lose usefulness, which can severely affect the jacket's performance. And that certainly should be the time that you look for buying a new one immediately to assure your safety during your sea fishing trips and another fishing trip.

So, do life jacket expire has no straightforward answer. It is a relative thing and depends on your using period. Though rarely it may damage or expire before a minimum life span, overall it can be used for long times.

What are Cheap life jackets material?

  • · Nylon: Generally, nylon is used to construct the outer part of a life jacket as this fabric can withstand extended contact with water and provide extended durability.

    · Nylon webbing: Durable nylon webbings regularly using to construct the straps of the life jacket to makes sure that the straps don’t shrink dues to severe water exposure.

    · Foam: The interior of a life jacket made from either polyvinyl chloride foam or polyethene foam that doesn’t absorb water and hence ensures the superior floating ability.

    · Metal/Plastic: Durable metals or high-quality plastics are used to make the various fasteners of a life jacket to make them more secure for the wearer.

How Kid's Life Jackets Can Protect your Babies 

The most valuable thing to you the protection of your child. Surely, you always want to see the smiley face of your child. During the time, when you tend to go to a swimming pool, or a fishing trip with your babies and let them play in the water. You will notice how much happy they will be.

Most importantly, a baby life jacket can give you a perfect combination of protection and fun. Besides, the importance of life jackets for kids is not less than those adults. Firstly, It can save your baby from waves swift current and overflowing of water, despite not knowing the swim. But the infant should not go boat journey or fishing trip without having appropriate jackets.


According to the rules of U.S Coast Guard’s Office of Boating Safety, your child must have to be 18 pounds for boating. The U.S coast guard’s recommendation for wearing baby floatation suits is mandatory under 13 years old child. But all ages people can use life jackets for their protection.

Think Before Buying An Infant Cheap Life Jackets

Firstly, you have to choose the best infant life jackets. Baby life jackets should be the perfect weight according to your baby’s age. Above all, a Baby life vest can be different in features of colour and safety.

Most importantly, you have to find out the perfect one for your child. Sometimes it may happen, your child won’t like to wear life jackets. Meanwhile, You can use bright colour life vest for more visibility. Most importantly, it is better to keep in mind that you can’t handle kids life jackets for a newborn baby.

There is a strict rule of U.S boating safety. For using a child life jacket, your baby must have to be at least 18 pounds. Generally, in the age of a 5-11 month, babies gain this required weight. Boating safety rules are different from state to state. But the maximum state is following a uniform standard. Some of the tops picked and recommended child life jacket you may consider before buying for your children. Stohlquist life jacket is one of the best infant life vests. That is appropriately fit both for male and female baby.

This life jackets the primary material from nylon shell. Stohlquist is consistently secure and comfortable. Besides, Stohlquist has a unique quality of head and neck support. This jacket is perfect for a one-year-old child. As well as Stearns heads-up vest is another lovable item to U.S parents. This item is more famous for its particular style. Nylon shell and flotation foams are the primary materials Blue and red colour vest more appropriate for the child. O’Neil child reactor vest is also the right choice for kids.

Think before using infant life jackets

  • Make sure about Special Head or neck support.
  • • Choose the perfect size according to babies’ weight and age.
  • • Try to choose a Bright colour for more visibility.
  • • Justify the comfortable Product material
  • • Must follow the U.S coast guard rules and recommendation
  • • Supervision the infant life jacket quality one time per year
  • • Check the ultra-violate damage, leakage, or other damage.

Final Words

All the cheap life jackets and personal floatation devices listed above are tested to the core and then added to this list for more accuracy of information. These are some of the cheap life vests. You will find in the market that will provide you with all the features and performances and even more than that they have promised. Also, Life jackets can be a part of your favorite fishing clothes. Overall, these PFDs ensure the best value of your money, and we can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed after buying any one of them.

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Tony L. Smith

Tony is a professional fishing instructor and his hobby is fishing! He has been fishing for the last 4 years and he loves fishing instructor profession. Based on his experiences with the different type of fishing; he is sharing his opinion about various fishing technique so that a beginner can get started right away. Find him on Twitter. Happy reading!